The propagation of hate speech online is one of today's great challenges that emerged with the development of new technologies. Although a vast literature on the phenomenon already exists, studies tend to focus on the aggressors or victims, with few studies dedicated to the role of bystanders. This master's thesis seeks to contribute to fill this gap, through an exploratory study that aims to characterize the type, frequency and purpose of the use of social networks; the strategies and motivations of users for digital activism; and the attitudes and behaviors of bystanders towards online hate speech. The methodology used consisted of a quantitative approach that materialized in the development and application of the Questionnaire on Social Media Users' Behaviors and Attitudes towards Hate Speech. The study had 211 participants, aged between 18 and 30 years old. The results of this study indicate some factors that seem to be associated with bystander behavior towards hate speech online (e.g., fear of retaliation or disapproval from others; risk of worsening the situation or ending up as a target of violence; and uncertainty about the most effective way to resolve the situation), which should be taken into account when designing programs to prevent bystander behavior on social networks.
|Date of Award||12 Jul 2022|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Mariana Barbosa (Supervisor) & Marisa Costa (Co-Supervisor)|
- Young adults
- Social networks
- Hate speech